Butchery is a highly skilled profession steeped in tradition, apprentices will display understanding about a range of meat species and the various techniques needed to process and/or produce products. In addition, apprentices will be able to cut, prepare, package and present meat products to the standards required of the business and specialist needs of commercial and/or consumers. On completion of the apprenticeship, butchers will have gained a range of skills, knowledge and behaviours that can lead to rewarding careers in the butchery industry, not only in the UK but across the world. Butchers who complete the standard apprenticeship will be automatically eligible for professional registration with the Institute of Meat (IoM). Optimum Skills Limited is a high quality training provider established to assist businesses to recruit and train staff to assist in meeting the skills needs of the business. Butchery is a new trade and profession that we are expanding our training offer into utilising the skills and experiences of qualified time served butchers. In addition, Optimum Skills are the only training provider in the North – East who can facilitate the apprenticeship and is being widely recognised by employers engaging with the programme

Training Programme

Apprentices will need to complete a training programme designed to cover the 4 mandatory standard components: core knowledge, butchery skills, behaviours and either retail or butchery specialism. All apprentices will be required to keep a log book to demonstrate learning and achievement. At the end of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will be required to complete an End Point Assessment (EPA), which will demonstrate competency in the trade. Mandatory qualifications • Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Manufacturing or Meat and Poultry; • Level 2 Award in Health and Safety in the Food Supply Chain Business; • Level 2 Award in Knife Skills for Food Processing; • Level 1 Maths and English – unless exempt (A-E GCSE grade or equivalent).

Typical Duration

18 Months




Workplace Assessments

Assessment Methods

The End Point Assessment will consist of:

  • 30 minute “show me, tell me” – which will be a practical demonstration of butchery specialism.
  • 60 question exam paper – to demonstrate theoretical knowledge;
  • 30 minute question and answer professional discussion with an assessor – to demonstrate knowledge obtained throughout the apprenticeship.

Job Sectors

  • Assistant / Trainee Butcher
  • Counter service assistant
  • Meat hygiene inspector
  • Meat process worker
  • Market trader
  • Shopkeeper